SCOTLAND is to be represented at the world’s most prestigious drag pageant for the first time.

Miss Peaches, a full-time drag queen based in Dundee, is set to compete in the Miss Continental Northern Europe preliminary in Rotterdam this summer.

“It’s the biggest event in drag you can do besides going on the TV,” she told The National.

The pageant was founded in 1980 and sees contestants compete against one another, showcasing five looks and a talent, with the winner crowned as Miss Continental. 

More than 40 preliminaries take place throughout the globe with the winners descending on Chicago for the final.

It has been won by many famous faces, including the first openly transgender model Mimi Marks and the current host of Canada’s Drag Race Brooke Lynn Hytes.

A transgender woman from Dundee, Miss Peaches has been performing in drag since 2016 and has already made a name for herself on the Scottish scene.

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She said: “I would clips of Lily Savage and Dame Edna Everage online and then eventually I caught an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race on TV.

“I didn’t really know what it was – I actually thought RuPaul was a cisgender women.

“But I realised that all my interests really aligned with drag. I love hair, make-up, art, music and I’d always wanted to be in theatrical shows.

“And the thing about drag is you get to do all of that yourself: you’re your own hair stylist, your own make-up artist, your own choreographer.

“My partner at the time told me I’d probably be good at it, so I gave it a go and it’s just stuck!”

While Scottish drag grew in prominence thanks to Lawrence Chaney and Ellie Diamond appearing on the second season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, a Scottish queen hasn’t been cast on the programme since.

Miss Peaches says she wants to highlight the excellence of Scottish drag on a global stage.

“I want Scotland to be well regarded globally,” she said. “I want Scotland to be a place people think of when they want to see amazing drag.

“Working in the drag scene, we tend to do what’s easy. I will grab a dress I know that works and head out the door.

“But this gives me the opportunity to present my drag at its finest, to show people the height of my talents.

“Plus, what’s really exciting is I get to represent my country for the first time since no Scottish queen has ever competed before.”

While the biggest drag scenes in Scotland are in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Miss Peaches, alongside fellow queen Raspberry, has performed throughout Scotland and brought LGBT+ communities together in some unlikely places – including a regular show in Perth.

“I absolutely love doing that show,” she said. “It’s nice to know you could be providing someone with their first experience of drag in real life.

“There isn’t a queer club in Perth so it also ends up becoming a place where LGBT+ people who like drag can go and actually end up becoming friends.

“It brings people together in such a nice way, particularly in places that are a bit more isolated or have smaller populations.

“We’ve performed in the the first drag show in Arbroath, the first drag show in Blairgowrie. We were even the first drag act in Kirriemuir!”

However, the response hasn’t always been positive.

Since the start of the year more than 30 bills have been filed in numerous US states which seek to place restrictions on drag performers, with the associated moral panic spreading to the UK.

Last year, Miss Peaches pulled out of a drag queen story time event in Dundee after “hateful and intimidatory behaviour” led her to believe it wouldn’t be appropriate to subject children to an environment where there could be protesters.

“I’m definitely more on guard than when I started,” she said.

“I try to limit being outdoors in drag because you just don’t know if the person walking past you in the street is the same one that’s just left you a really horrible message online.

“I live in a flat and I will not leave my front door in drag unless the taxi is waiting for me outside.

“You just never know who you could bump in to and I want to prevent that kind of conflict as much as possible.”

Contestants in pageants can often spend thousands on their packages.

With a budget of £2000 Miss Peaches said she will be putting her skills as a wig stylist to good use to save some cash.

“I need to take five looks with me as well as pay for transport, flights and hotels,” she said. “It is quite a costly event.

“But my best friend and I are both wig stylists and I’m very well versed in the art form of drag so I’m confident I’ll be able to put together something spectacular.”